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The Washington State Board of Education works to make school personal for all students in our state. The Board makes rules that help students focus on their needs and set the state's requirements for graduation. The Washington State School Directors' Association (WSSDA) which supports school boards in our state, runs the election for elected seats, and the Governor appoints the rest.

The Board’s 16 members consist of:

  • Two students
  • The Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • A Private schools representative
  • Five elected members by WSSDA
  • Seven appointed members by the Governor

Learn more about the members on the bio page

Four main areas of responsibility

  1. Advocacy and strategic oversight of public education: The Board provides a public forum to develop policies and provide advocacy to support a system of education that responds to individual student goals and community needs. 
  2. Basic education compliance: The Board adopts rules and monitors compliance with a standards-based program of basic education, approves private schools operating in Washington, and approves and monitors districts wishing to authorize charter schools.
  3. High school graduation requirements: The Board establishes credit and non-credit requirements for high school graduation, determines threshold scores for assessments, and alternatives to meet graduation requirements. 
  4. Accountability and improvement: The Board adopts goals for the system, consults with OSPI to develop, maintain, and report on the state assessment system, establishes the index for system accountability and metrics for system health, and identifies criteria and approves districts for recognition and improvement.

SBE's purpose

  • Provide advocacy and strategic oversight of public education;
  • Implement a standards-based accountability system to improve student academic achievement;
  • Provide leadership in the creation of a system that personalizes education for each student and respects diverse cultures, abilities, and learning styles; and
  • Promote achievement of the Basic Education Act goals of RCW 28A.150.210.

The Board holds six regularly scheduled public meetings each year. Download a historical banner showcasing the Board's work and make-up since 1877.